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Carly Metea Marches to the Beat of Her Own Drum

Music Business major Carly Metea has quickly acclimated herself to the Columbia College Chicago community by getting involved with the Columbia College Chicago DJ Club student organization, working on-campus as a student worker, volunteering and attending school-wide events, and creating and co-hosting her own podcast on Columbia’s own radio station, WCRXFM. Surprisingly, she has accomplished all of this in just her first year at the college.

Originally from Dearborn, Michigan, she attended Dearborn High School and also Henry Ford Collegiate Academy as part of a dual enrollment program which allowed her to earn her Associates Degree while still technically in high school. Her adjustment to Columbia has been seamless due to the research she did before attending, as well as her ability to excel in new environments. According to Carly. “I started going to college in 10th grade if you count AP classes as college. In my junior year, I basically had all college classes at my community college. By the time I was a senior at Dearborn High School, I was a sophomore at Henry Ford College. After my official high school graduation in 2020, I stayed at the community college and earned my Associates Degree. My transition to a city from a suburb was harder than my transition from high school to college, especially since here you have to walk your groceries home from the store!”

Coming from Detroit, which has a vibrant electronic dance community, it was essential that Carly be able to create a strong foothold in the music scene in Chicago. “My favorite part about Chicago is the underground DIY scene. Moving here I was terrified of losing that aspect of a scene. I was not disappointed when I went to my first DIY show in September for Siouxxie Sixxsta. There’s this one venue called Gayhouse that really contributed positively to the DIY scene by making a safe space for all walks of life. Compared to bigger cities such as New York and LA, Chicago and Detroit have more thriving DIY scenes since property values are not as expensive. It is a great launch pad for artists to establish their own scene in a city, whereas New York DIY is practically illegal.”

Another way she has connected to the scene is by creating a podcast called, “The Deep Dark Tunnel,” which airs on WCRXFM. Co-hosting with fellow student Sage Gillespie, the show is an amalgamation of music, culture, and interviews. As Carly notes, “The Deep Dark Tunnel podcast is more than just a name. It is also a multi-media brand for the intended purpose of online streaming and broadcast radio. I coined the name after seeing a meme about a deep dark sewer rave in a tunnel somewhere. Deep Dark Tunnel first premiered as a live three-hour radio show at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan during the summer of 2021.”

While attending Student Convocation in 2021, she met WCRXFM Station Manager Matt Cunningham. They immediately developed a strong rapport. “Matt was the first to suggest that I take Deep Dark Tunnel and put it into a podcast form. I wanted to be involved in WCRX-FM one way or another, so I submitted the first episode of Deep Dark Tunnel to Matt which was about 5 minutes in total, including interview questions and a song premiere. Matt then would correspond with me with advice, and suggested that I add sound effects and interactive elements to the mix and extend the show past five minutes. I had never interviewed anyone before the podcast, so it really helped to expand it to its current length, which allowed me to develop interviewing skills. Matt also gave us a lot of airtime for our show to grow, and helped walk me through setting up ‘The Tunnel’ blog on the station’s website.”

Her interest in helping others and honing her own music skills also led to her involvement with the DJ Club, a student organization that has given her access to meeting other students who are not only DJ’s, but also music artists who are interested in a wide range of music. This involvement has cemented her theory of how she can help others through her podcast. “I believe that delivery is a powerful tool which helps aspiring artists’ careers, as well as their esteem. We like to interview local and underground artists to provide a platform to express what’s on their minds when it comes to their artistry, sonic and visual aesthetic, as well as their personalities.”

With her second full year of Columbia around the corner, Carly has already mapped out her to do list. “Some of my goals for sophomore year at Columbia are to continue the podcast with Sage and our newest co-host Nick Lampiasi, complete my semesters strongly, earn a few more scholarships along the way, continue working at the Math and Science Department, and to stay involved with the DJ Club. I also really want to focus more on my music and merchandizing it so I can make a profit from my art. Check out PROXOXIE on Soundcloud!”

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